Schomacker seeks 5th term
By Per Peterson
District 22A House Rep. Joe Schomacker, a Republican from Luverne, feels right at home in his district, which is one reason he has served the people in that district for eight years.
“One thing I like about the makeup of this district is that it includes only cities under 5,000 people so you can get to know people better and there isn’t a large town that dominates attention away from the others,” said Schomacker, who will be challenged in this year’s election by political newcomer Maxwell Kaufman.
District 22 covers a lot of ground, however, and Schomacker admits it’s tough to reach everyone all the time.
“It’s a large district and I will be the first to admit I don’t make it to all corners of it as often as I’d like, but I do make an effort to get through the area regularly,” he said. “Tracy residents keep me informed on the issues important to them and specific issues that concern them directly. I hear from people in Tracy about as often as I do people from Pipestone, Slayton, or Tyler — no more and no less.”
Schomacker said he shares many of the same values as the people he represents, and appreciates his constituents and the southwest Minnesota value system the longer he is in office.
“You can work tirelessly on an issue for years and know that it can be turned around on you the very next legislative session,” he said.
Kaufman offers choice
By Seth Schmidt
Some would say Maxwell Kaufman faces a daunting challenge in his campaign for the District 22A Minnesota House seat.
The Fulda man is running against four-term Republican incumbent Rep. Joe Schomacker of Luverne, in what has been a heavily Republican district. In 2016, Schomacker won reelection over DFL candidate Laura Woods by over 30 percentage points.
But Kaufman, a planner with the Southwest Regional Development Commission in Slayton, feels that voters are willing to consider the ideas of a fresh voice.
“I want to give people a choice,” he says.
Kaufman is the DFL-endorsed candidate in the District 22A race. However, Kaufman feels party affiliation is just one factor for citizens to consider in choosing a state legislator.
Primarily, Kaufman says that voters want someone who will listen to their concerns, represent them well in St. Paul, and work to improve the lives of ordinary people. While the DFL party best represents the principles that he believes in, Kaufman also sees himself as “someone who wouldn’t vote along party lines all the time” and be able to “reach out” to Republicans in order to enact legislation that is in the best interests of 22A constituents.
A responsive, efficient state government, he believes, benefits everyone.
“Good government ensures how well a society function,” he says.
The inability of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, and the Republican-controlled legislature to pass several major bills last spring, Kaufman attributed to Republican leadership putting too many bills in large omni-bus bill. Gov. Dayton, he said vetoed bills when they contained controversial provisions the governor didn’t like. The impasse in state government that occurred, Kaufman believes, could have been avoided if Republicans had kept legislation in smaller bills that could have each been considered upon their own merits.
For more on these articles, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.